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AbilityFirst Festival Honors Longtime Supporters

AbilityFirst will honor longtime supporters Greg and Heba Wood at the organization’s 50th annual Food & Wine Festival at a lovely South Pasadena estate on Sunday, June 9, from 5-8 p.m. The outdoor event will feature gourmet delights from local restaurants, cocktail bars, breweries and vintners.
The Woods have embraced AbilityFirst’s vision of having “a society that values each individual and provides the opportunity for all people to lead full and productive lives,” according to a press release. “Greg and Heba’s above-and-beyond leadership and involvement have blazed a trail upon which their entire family expresses gratitude for the positive effect AbilityFirst has had on their lives.
“For their unwavering commitment to the AbilityFirst mission and their outstanding dedication to creating a community where all can experience belonging, AbilityFirst is pleased to honor Greg and Heba at the Food & Wine Festival with the organization’s highest honor, the Visionary Award.”
The Woods’ son, Zack, began attending the AbilityFirst After-School Program in 2001. As Zack transitioned into adulthood, he became employed at the Pasadena Work Center and now enjoys experiencing meaningful community connections through the ExplorAbility Program.
The Woods’ daughter, Piper, has created several “forever homes” by providing puppies to the AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival through her rescue organization, Hand in Paw Rescue.
Meanwhile, Nancy Longo will serve as the event’s emcee. She is a seasoned journalist and media personality with over 20 years of experience in TV and business. She has covered top industry leaders and politicians as well as hosting business shows.
AbilityFirst has a 98-year legacy of empowering individuals with disabilities.
“From fostering social connections to providing vital employment training, this year’s festival encapsulates a vibrant celebration of AbilityFirst’s transformative work,” the nonprofit said in a statement.
For event information, visit

AbilityFirst supporters Nancy Longo Anita Lawler and Mary Spellman

First published in the May 17 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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